The project is the result of the inquisitive coming together of giants from different musical worlds. It represents a completely new direction for Walsh, who met Amjad Ali Khan while visiting India. At the suggestion of Amjad’s son, they played together at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, after which Walsh invited Amjad and his two sons to travel to Los Angeles and record with him, in the spirit of musical experimentation.
Prayers is the result of the second of their sessions at Joe’s home studio in Los Angeles during 2020. As well as Amjad and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, Walsh invited some distinguished friends and neighbors in the Los Angeles music community to take part: Jim Keltner, Davey Johnstone, Michael Thompson, Nathan East, Stewart Copeland, Joe Vitale, and Lee Sklar. The EP features “Healing Love”, “Goddess,” and “Hope (We Shall Overcome).”
“The time I spend in India is always transformative,” says Walsh. “My first visit delivered ‘India’ which was on [his 2012 album] Analog Man. Subsequent visits stirred within me a deeper curiosity for Indian instruments and their music. In spending time with the maestro, himself, Amjad, I was excited to see how my instrument and his could work together.
“We were both blown away. It was one of my life’s most treasured experiences. It was as if our souls united in a symphony of shared love for music in its purest form. The music we created was stronger than our individual abilities. It was a spiritual experience to play with the Khans. Everyone there in those sessions was elevated as a result of this collaboration and that’s why we play music. It’s those moments we chase as musicians.
‘These tracks had healing properties’
“By the time I got to work on these tracks in the studio we were in complete lockdown pandemic mode,” he goes on. “The more time I spent with this music the clearer it became that these tracks had healing properties and needed to be shared as a gift.
“So, in honor of all the frontline workers who continue to be of such incredible service and courage to us all during these horribly challenging times I’m donating my proceeds to IntraHealth International, whose vital work for healthcare workers around the world aligned perfectly. With our gratitude and with love to them all please enjoy Prayers.”
Amjad Ali Khan adds: “It has been such a pleasure and an honor to work on this album with my dear friend, the legendary Joe Walsh. Across cultures, as artists we can understand and appreciate each other and thereby trying to heal this divided world, and what better way is there to achieve this ideal than through the joy and spiritual nourishment that music brings.”
Polly Dunford, president and CEO of IntraHealth International, says: “We are so thrilled and grateful to Joe and Amjad for their generosity. Their gift is going to make health workers around the world safer as we battle this pandemic today and build a healthier future for tomorrow.”
Prayers, credits and thanks:
Recorded in Los Angeles
Engineered by Bruce Sugar
Electric guitar: Joe Walsh
Sarod: Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash
Vocal: Amjad Ali Khan
Tabla: Satnam Ramgotra
Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan and Ayaan express their gratitude to Joe and Marjorie Walsh for all their love and support for the project
Joe would like to thank the following musicians who participated in the sessions from which these three tracks were created:
• Nathan East: Bass
• Lee Sklar: Bass
• Abe Loboriel: Bass
• Jim Keltner: Percussion
• Stewart Copeland: Percussion
• Ed Roth: Keyboards
• Michael Thompson: Keyboards
• Joe Vitale: Keyboards
• Davey Johnstone: Guitar